New technology to process visa applications

National, Normal

FOREIGN Affairs, Trade and Immigration Minister Sam Abal is impressed with the department’s new border management system, describing it as an example of 21st century technology being put into good use to protect PNG from harmful international influences.
He said that the new system was an important step in improving the integrity and management of PNG’s border management and visa processing capability.
Abal said that visa applications approvals were now being transmitted electronically between PNG and overseas diplomatic missions.
The system would automatically cross-check the character and all particulars of a person before his or her visa was approved and issued by the missions abroad. In the past, a person was issued a visa upon arrival in the country.
Abal said that the new system was fully integrated with Jackson International Airport, ensuring that all passengers’ arrival and departures were recorded and cross-checked against the alert database.
He said that the benefit of such alert’s functionality was recently demonstrated when an individual of concern was detected, assessed and removed from PNG within two hours.
Abal said they had been working closely with the gas project coordination office, ExxonMobil and others partners, to develop a comprehensive processing model that would utilise all the benefits that the system provided.
He announced a special arrangement that had been designed specifically to process the expected big influx of foreign workers, more than 15,000 visas for the foreign workers for the LNG project as it would take 10 working days or less for the visas.